Slayer’s Final Tour – Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, and Napalm Death! San Antonio, Texas
Photos, Review, and Interview with Barney From Napalm Death!
By Rene Botello
Slayer embarked on it’s second leg of their final tour this August and I knew there was no way I was going miss it. Touring with them were fellow metal giants in their own right: Napalm Death, Testament, Anthrax & Lamb Of God.
Napalm Death (click for photo gallery) was up first opening up the night. This was my first time seeing the grindcore legends as was some of the other fans in attendance. And just like everyone else, I wasn’t ready for the ferocity they presented. 30 years as a band hasn’t slowed them down one bit. Coming off the release of latest album Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs, which was released March 2018, Napalm Death is it still on top. Fans were even treated to the song You Suffer which has the world record for shortest song ever written.
Other songs played were Suffer The Children, Scum, and the Dead Kennedys cover Nazi Punks Fuck Off. Napalm Death are known for their brutal music and their lyrics which is a direct contrast to each other. Almost a beauty and the beast comparison. Sonically, they can melt your face off; lyrically, they spread the word of humanitarianism and the need for the world to treat all individuals as equals. A powerful message delivered by a powerful format. They have accomplished so much in their time as a band and that legacy will live on forever. If you have a chance, get there early to catch them live. You will not be disappointed.
Check out our interview with Barney from Napalm Death below:
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Up next was the Bay Area Thrash legends Testament. Even though the set was short, they were able to pack in classics such as The Preacher, Practice What You Preach, Into The Pit and Over The Wall. The melody and crushing riffs have never sounded so good as fans lost themselves to the music.
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Kicking off with the main riff from Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell was the mighty Anthrax’s (click for photo gallery) which lead into the pit classic Caught In a Mosh! I love seeing Anthrax live since they were a major soundtrack to my life. Three decades have not slowed this band down one bit. Anthrax has consistently put out new albums that have given breath to the old school sound. Seeing Joey Belladonna sing flawlessly is truly impressive, as is Scott Ian riffing along stomping to the beat. Frank Bello’s charisma shines in his bass playing and the emotional faces of pure joy the crowd is able clearly see. Jon Donais’ shredding has brought in some new blood that gives that extra kick, as his lead work on the guitar melts your face off. Filling in for Charlie Benante was fellow drummer extraordinaire Gene Hoglan. The Atomic Clock himself manned the drum helm and played to perfection.
Other songs that filled Anthrax set were: Got The Time, Be All End All, Antisocial and Indians to name a few. Each song building the crushing wave of bodies moshing like mad; giving the fans exactly what they wanted! I can honestly say that every time I have seen Anthrax, I get an euphoric feeling of happiness letting me know that all is right with the world.
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Next up were the young guys of the tour: Lamb Of God (click for photo gallery). Being the youngest of the bunch really has no bearing in music, since they have dominated the music industry for over a decade and will be one of the metal titans to continue to carry the flag of metal for years to come. Watching them perform life is very raw and organic. Seeing Randy Blythe pace on the stage like a lion ready to pounce on its prey is infectious; feeding energy to the fans. Shred masters Mark Morton and Will Adler work in perfect unison, trading off riffs and complimenting each other while John Campbell fill in the grooving bass. Art Cruz (Winds of Plague, Prong) was filling in as drummer and was specifically picked by Chris Adler since he was not able to make this run. I’ve seen Art perform with Prong twice before, and he dominated his role behind the drums. Opening up the night with the song Omerta, fans sang, shouted and yelled along. Other favorites that filled the night were: Walk With Me in Hell, 512 to name a few. Closing out their night set was the song Randy explained was Vinny Paul’s favorite: Redneck! This caused one of the biggest circle pits of the night. What a perfect end for their set.
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Finally Slayer took the stage. The gates of hell opened up; fire and brimstone laid the foundation on which they consumed and entranced fans. Playing over an hour and a half of full speed thrash left everyone exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. It is hard to believe that this was their final tour. I’m sure no one saw it coming; fans just expect Slayer to live on forever. Which in a sense they will, through their timeless music and the “Slayer lifestyle” as it were. Classics were played and consumed by everyone; and everyone was saved in one way or other by Slayer.
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Check Out Photo Galleries of the bands below!